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Issues and Insights

This page provides links to recent articles, reports and announcements relating to transportation policy, legislation and research. The entries are drawn from a wide range of sources, including the NJTPA and its member agencies. If you come across interesting transportation reading that might deserve posting here, let us know at [email protected]

Death to Livability! CityLab.com, 6/26/19 - Pack your bags everyone: It’s time to move to Zurich. According to the 2019 Monocle Global Liveable Cities Index, published in the magazine’s July/August issue, the Swiss city is the most livable of any in the world, the 409,000-resident almost-metropolis beating off competition to rise to the top of a 25-city list. Last year, it was number four...
Minnesota Is Making Bike-Friendly Cities Across the State NextCity.org, 6/1/2/19 - Minneapolis, Minnesota, consistently ranks in the top 10 for best biking cities nationwide, but the state isn’t content to stop there — a statewide effort is making communities across the North Star State more bikeable. Inspired by a Michigan program called Training Wheels that helps communities provide on-road bike facilities, Minnesota has been offering Bikeable Community Workshops since 2012...
Uber Copter Will Only Make New York Transit Worse CityLab.com, 6/7/19 - There are three ways to get from Manhattan to the city’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. All of them are pretty bad. First, there’s the subway: You can take the A or E out to eastern Queens, and then hop on the AirTrain. It’ll cost you $7.75, and take an hour, but delays are common. Then there’s commuter rail: ...
Yes, Newark. Get behind it. We’re good NextCity.org, 6/1/2019 - When I think about all the leaders in this room and talk about innovation, I think your first collaborative project is really yourself. When I first looked at who I was and who I was becoming, I really looked at my tribe who contributed to the man I am today. See, I grew up in Brooklyn, and Brooklyn is so much culturally just like Newark. It’s a mix of black and brown voices, immigrant voices all living together...
Japan begins testing its 248 mph next-gen bullet train TheVerge.com, 5/13/19 - Japan’s next-generation bullet train, the Alfa-X, has gone into testing. The train, which will be built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Hitachi, is capable of hitting a maximum speed of 400 km/h (248 mph), but it’s expected to carry passengers at 360 km/h (224 mph) when it opens to the public in 2030. Before that happens, DesignBoom notes that the train has to go through years of testing, making nighttime runs between the cities of Aomori and Sendai...
Los Angeles is now offering car rides to metro stations Wired.com, 1/29/19 - Public transit agencies are not known for their flashy, up-to-date technology. In many cities, you’re lucky if your diesel bus shows up on time. But this week, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is trying something new. Starting today, riders who live near three Metro stations will be able to download an app, tap a few times, and have a car show up at their door—or at least within a few blocks—and take them to that station. The service, provided by ride-hail company Via, will cost riders with the system's TAP cards $1.75, though it will be free for those who already use Metro’s low-income subsidy programs...
‘The cars just disappeared’: What happened to the 90,000 cars a day the viaduct carried before it closed? The Seattle Times, 1/24/19 - The Alaskan Way Viaduct carried 90,000 cars a day before it was shut down. Where did they all go?Since the closure of Highway 99 through Seattle on Jan. 11, commute times have been slightly above average — but have fallen far short of the most dire predictions. And fewer cars and trucks than normal have been traveling on the region’s other major highways... 
Shipping innovation is moving faster than regulation Frieght Waves, 1/23/19 - Innovation in the field of autonomous shipping is moving at a far greater pace than the international rules that will regulate the industry can be established, according to Rolls-Royce. Kevin Daffey, director ship intelligence, engineering  and technology at Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine, told the Maritime Autonomous Ships Regulatory Working Group conference that Scandinavian countries are moving ahead with the development of autonomous ships that will prove the technology in local waters, and will operate under local regulations.
Stuck and Stressed: The Health Costs of Traffic The New York Times, 1/24/19 - Sometimes the seemingly small things in life can be major stressors. Nobody likes sitting in traffic, for example. According to one study, commuting is one of the least pleasant things we do. But it’s not just an annoying time waster — there’s a case that it’s a public health issue. According to analysis by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the average American commuter spends 42 hours per year stuck in rush-hour traffic...